Workers’ compensation is something every employee is entitled to if they receive a workplace injury. You may wonder whether or not you can receive compensation if you feel the injury was your own fault. While it does depend on a few factors, most employees are entitled to the benefit regardless of fault. The following are a few factors to consider.
If you show up at the workplace and are drunk, which results in an injury, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation, though there are even exceptions in such cases. For example:
- You show up to work intoxicated, stumble over your own feet, trip, fall and cut your head open on the corner of a desk. This would be your own fault for showing up intoxicated and your employer most likely wouldn’t be held liable.
- You show up to work intoxicated, flip on a piece of heavy machinery which promptly malfunctions and cuts your head open. This wouldn’t be related to your intoxication because the machine malfunctioned and you probably would have gotten hurt even if you were sober. Your employer would more than likely be held responsible.
Someone contributing to horseplay in the workplace may or may not have a case for workers’ compensation following an injury. The following outlines two different scenarios and the expected outcome.
- You and your coworkers regularly engage in horseplay at the office. Management either encourages or ignores the behavior, showing it is acceptable. You are injured during one occasion. Because horseplay was encouraged or ignored by management, your employer could be held liable for the injury.
- You and your coworkers regularly engage in horseplay at the office. Management is constantly on your case about it, giving citations, suspensions and charging fees. Employees have been fired over their reckless behavior. You are injured during one occasion. Your employer probably will not be held responsible because they did not encourage the behavior, but rather strongly discouraged it.
Company policies are put in place for a reason. If you were acting in direct violation of a company policy and were injured as a result, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. These cases are more difficult to turn the opposite direction, though with the right attorney, it could happen.
Contacting an Attorney